Luck Is Required, Professionalism Is Imperative 981 views

Luck may very well be the most important asset in any sports forecaster's repertoire, but this alone is not synonymous with, or directly translate into, success.

There are those, and I am sure everyone has met them... the person that always seems to fall back asswards in to success whether they are trying for that result or not. When an upcoming sporting event is reviewed by a forecaster with the intention of selecting a winner versus the odds set by a sports book, they are utilizing some form of decision making process, or calibration of data, that they feel personally comfortable with that will allow their selection to escape a loss, thus drawing a favourable conclusion from the event, whether it be a push or win.

The sports forecaster has absolutely zero control over the events that occur throughout a game and subsequently lead to the end result of any sporting event, therefore luck is the final factor to which I believe there are different denominations that some people naturally possess over others.

I'm not saying that the information and processes that we have installed to base our decisions on is right or wrong or good or bad. What I am saying is the most important facet of wagering on sporting events is the ability to consciously and fully comprehend that none of us are any better or worse than anyone else that is challenging the oddsmakers, and that the outcomes of any sporting event is never determined solely by any statistics or empirical data we have implemented into our decision making process. For some, this is a tough pill to swallow, for others, it is redundant information that they already understand completely.

In every case since the dawn of sport, final game results are the compilation of a plethora of events that no individual in their right mind could honestly admit to having predicted, action by action, in the most micro sense, and make no mistake about this, it is the total combination of every action that occurs throughout the game that ultimately produces the result.

Successful sports forecasting boils down more to one's ability to effectively manage the personal subjective aspects, such as money management, patience, discipline, and emotional detachment from the events themselves. Of course, generating positive returns is of utmost importance and MUST be achieved to even be considered remotely successful, but as you can see from the Pick Monitor leader board itself by the sheer number of people displaying positive returns this is not as difficult to complete as being able to complete all of the aspects combined with it.

In my mind, what separates the best from the worst, the forecaster that will lead you to long term success or the fast path to ruin, is the ability of the forecaster to effectively integrate, and emanate to prospective clients, all of the aspects listed above.

Edited 3/10/13 at 2:31PM by Timothy Wynn - No reason listed.

The word "luck" imo is the difference between someone that studies and take this seriously and a sports fan or casual onlooker betting for action. Patriots lose to the bills at home, luck to the average fan. Someone studying the sport might see bills are good on the road within the division and has played the patriots tough last 6x they both played. So the upset is not that big of a shocker to a "pro capper". ...take the Ravens superbowl run for example. Defense wins championships so it wasn't far fetched to see the 49ers n Ravens play. As a neighbor city team I had ravens winning it all because of their defense, big play abilities and experience of being in the playoffs so many times in a row n Lewis retirement. What was crazy or lucky so to say was the way they got there. Deep bomb against the broncos, pats n a 4 play goal line stand in the superbowl finale. Alot of my friends said I was lucky to win that bet. I seen it no other way but a W no matter how they got it

Great post as usual Tim...

Luck plays a part in individual event outcomes and small subsets of data. Handicapping skill will exceed luck in the long run.

As you point out Tucker there are additional skills needed for a positive long term ROI.

While never mentioned and discussed enough, these five disciplines play an equal roll in determining success as much as the game outcomes do.



Money Management


Risk Management

Unfortunately the longer I do this the more I believe that those five disciplines are predetermined in folks makeup and upbringing. Some people have it and some don't. Most don't have all five and it is EXTREMELY difficult to learn and adapt to any one of those.

These personal attributes are not mutually exclusive to sports wagering. Look into any investing market, high finance and business. Most will have these attributes to a certain level and the best will have an great understanding and control of all of them.

IMO picking winners or selecting the right capper to pay for their services is equal to only 1/6th of the process. These other five are where most fail. Signing up with a guy who has a 5% lifetime ROI will not get you to the promised land.

There is just as good a chance that those you see disappear from here over time didn't have at least a basic understanding of these other traits as much as they couldn't pick winners.

Edited 3/10/13 at 4:12PM by Parker - No reason listed.

LOL. I just noticed that. They both contribute greatly and for some reason I had Tucker on the brain. Thank god for the edit feature.

Great post. I think patience and balancing emotions are quite challenging. There's no Kelly system to keep you from throwing your phone at the TV.

Half joking.

I meant more, adjusting your algorithm due to a big play or small nuance you have virtually no way of measuring to blend into your plan.


The steady eddy approach is the only way to survival in this game. I have seen the "johnny come latelys", the "flash in the pans", and undoubtedly they don't last. Money management is the only thing that keeps you in the game, win rate does not. The win rate relating to juice is the winning formula. That's why MLB is the real moneymaker.

In a shameless plug, I write about this in my blog.

The Contrarian


I am going to slide a little off tangent of my original post here for a moment. I have read numerous threads and accompanying posts attempting to round out what statistics are most important when reviewing a potential sports forecaster for not only a part-time business relationship, but possibly a long term full-time business relationship as well. Some have relayed they prefer ROI while others have advised they review sample size of selections related to bottom line eP, and others yet have explained they look at numerous other data either on their own or combined with other information.

The Contrarian makes a strong argument regarding his ideology because it is working and I have nothing derogatory to say to anyone that is doing something that works, but I disagree with his statement that win rate relating to juice is the winning formula as if it were the be all to end all with regard to successfully earning revenues from sports betting. There are numerous systems and ideologies that many of the handicappers on Pick Monitor are using successfully as evidenced by the leader board.

IMO, the most integral information being displayed on Pick Monitor that relates to success is the chart contained within each individual's profile page located at the top right corner defining the following time parameters; 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days, 1 year, and All Time. To me, if I were to employ a sports handicapping service, it is imperative they are not volatile and provide a steady stream of profits while maintaining low risk. If it were me, and this is only my opinion, I would not consider hiring a sports handicapper that is displaying red text in any of the final 3 time parameters on this chart. I am not bashing, just explaining what I hold personally to be the most important data on Pick Monitor.

Edited 3/10/13 at 6:15PM by Timothy Wynn - No reason listed.

TW...totally agree with your statement me if you are a capper that has made at least 2000 plays, over at least a year's period (more would actually be better)...and are steadily showing an increase in profit over 90 days, 1 year, and all time you should be as good as gold to anyone here looking to purchase plays!

Edited 3/10/13 at 7:11PM by PitchBlack - No reason listed.


Timothy, I agree with you when you talk about luck. Winning seems to be the easy part. Achieving and maintaining success seems to be the more difficult. There are six pages of winning handicappers on this site. When I read articles saying two or three percent of handicappers make money every year, they must all be on this website. I know it sounds sarcastic, and I really don't mean it that way, I really don't, but I can't find the proper words to make my point.

When I first signed - up a couple of years ago, learning how to handicap was the most attractive and curious part for me. Especially being a sports fan and knowing nothing about handicapping. I used to handicap in my head by what I saw and heard. When I roam around looking at different handicappers pick histories and the systems and styles they use, makes me think differently. I know that skill will prevail in the long run but I'm beginning to think that there's many, many,many different routes to success, and maybe we should be open minded to new ideas. If sportsbooks keep changing maybe handicapping ideas should do the same. It's so hard to argue with results. I disagree with some handicappers theories, then they prove me wrong. Maybe that's the reason I'm addicted to pickmonitor.


I 100% agree with you Tucker that there is no "right" way to make money doing this. For me the curiosity has always been how guys survive doing this long term. The stress, the emotions, time that is dedicated, relationship trouble, and on and on. All of this and you get to watch your edge slowly recede month after month as the rest of the world catches up to your secret formula. It's a never ending quest where there is no light at the end of the tunnel and the holy grail of handicapping will never be found. It takes a very special type of person with a lot of sacrifice. I have come across and have read about a lot of great people that have burned out all too easily. I find it more then ironic that the high level pro's I read about stick to one sport and even with that most are single or divorced a few times over. There is absolutely no mercy when it comes to gambling. Those who sit back and rest on their laurels will get run over and destroyed in a heartbeat.


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